Visualizing the Climate Crisis: Virtual Water

This is the second talk of the series, Visualizing the Climate Crisis, which explores the potential and the role that contemporary photography, together with different disciplines, can have in addressing the multi-layered theme of climate change. The series features visual journalists doing evidence-based, research-informed, image-led reporting on climate issues. They are in conversation with other professionals representing a diverse range of disciplines, such as science, policy-making, education, architecture, social innovation, media, and more, trying to explore the possibility of thinking beyond photography in a genuinely trans-disciplinary approach to expand reach, involve the wider public, and move people from being inspired to taking action.

This event features Uwe H. Martin and Dr. Francesca Greco in conversation with Maria Teresa Salvati, moderated by Dr. Paul Lowe.

Virtual water–also known as embodied or hidden water–is a term coined by John Anthony Allan in 1993. The concept refers to the quantity of freshwater used in the products, services, and processes people buy and use daily. Virtual water often goes unseen by the end-user of a product or service, but that water has been consumed throughout the value chain, which makes the creation of that product or service possible. The concept of virtual water trade was introduced to refer to the idea that countries can save domestic water by importing food.

How can ‘virtual water’ be visualized? Can visual storytellers and scientists collaborate to communicate the whole story to the wide public? How could we make people aware of their eating and buying habits, be conscious of their choices, and eventually reduce their footprint on the planet?

This series is organized by Everything is Connected; UAL, University of the Arts London; and VII Insider.

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